• Volume 19 Number 8 - August 2012

    Features

    North Carolina sportsmen have many choices when it comes to deer hunting. Here are some of the state’s hottest whitetail hotspots.

    It became gin clear after the 2012 Dixie Deer Classic and the release of harvest figures from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for the last hunting season that North Carolina’s deer herd is in good shape.

    It’s also fairly obvious that Wilkes County in the state’s northwestern corner has the state’s most-avid hunters and one of its healthiest deer populations, while three counties in the northeastern corner of the state are once again home to the most whitetails in North Carolina.

    Morehead City fishermen have plenty of great black sea bass ‘turf’ within a short ride of port.

    The forecast for a windy day was not the greatest for an offshore bottom-fishing trip, but that didn’t deter Bob Bruggeworth from driving to Beaufort to join his friend Gus Villanova at Town Creek Marina, where Villanova keeps his 25-foot Carolina Classic, His Mistress.

    “My freezer’s empty,” said Bruggeworth, a New Bern resident and retiree from the telecommunications industry. “When it comes to eating, nothing beats a black sea bass.”

    Bruggewrorth and Villanova, who is also from New Bern, enjoy fishing inshore waters and the open Atlantic. With the preliminaries taken care of, they headed out through Beaufort Inlet for the first day the black sea bass season was open in 2011, wanting to get a jump on other anglers and commercial fishermen.

    Finding cooler water can lead to some hot August striper fishing on these North Carolina lakes.

    Across the country, striped bass are known for their propensity for cold water, their ability to survive — even flourish — in water that would put most fish into shock. Most fishermen who target stripers in reservoirs consider winter to be the best time to fish, when packs of hungry stripers roam the shallows gorging on shad.

    Guide and striper expert Mike Lundy knew all that when he launched his boat into lake Norman, with the temperature at sunrise a balmy 81 degrees.

    The heat of the summer is no time to sit at home: Head to the wrecks and reefs off Carolina Beach for hot action on big drum.

    To many coastal fishermen, August is a month where the fishing goes slack and the kids go back to school. The heat rolls in early in the day, afternoon thunderstorms are the norm, the Gulf Stream fishing of the late spring is a memory and the kings have yet to invade the beaches for their annual fall blitz.

    Too many fishermen put the tackle away for the last month of the summer. They have no idea what they are missing.

    Improvements in equipment has helped put fly-fishing on the map for saltwater fishermen, especially those targeting North Carolina waters. Learn the basics here.

    Flyfishermen have long known that their gear is not limited to wimpy rods and small fish. Particularly over the past 20 years, as equipment has improved, fly-fishing has created opportunities to catch saltwater fish efficiently.

    The sounds, marshes, inlets and rivers are especially adaptable to fly fishing. With the wisdom of three of the Tarheel State’s best guides — George Beckwith, Joe Shute and Gary Dubiel — here’s how.

    Beckwith, owner of Down East Guide Service, said the summer probably offers the most opportunities for fly-fishermen.

    This foothills reservoir is home to plenty of stripers that will bite even in August. Here are the hows and wheres.

    Almost a hundred years ago, Duke Power began its project to electrify North Carolina’s foothills by building a series of dams along the length of the Catawba River.

    Lake Hickory wasn’t the biggest impoundment on the system, and it wasn’t the first one finished. Fairly narrow, it stretches eastward from the northern outskirts of its namesake city roughly 15 miles to Oxford Dam.

    The shaky head has made its mark on bass fishermen at High Rock and other Yadkin River reservoirs.

    In the 1970s, KC and the Sunshine Band had party-goers shaking their hindquarters to the infectious beat of “Shake your Booty” and its famous line, “Shake, shake, shake; shake, shake, shake; shake your booty.”

    Bass fishermen aren’t accustomed to shaking their booties out on the lake, but they have learned to rhythmically “shake, shake, shake” their jigs as they embrace the latest jig-fishing craze, shaky head fishing.